Canakya, Cāṇakya: 16 definitions


Canakya means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

Alternative spellings of this word include Chanakya.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Cāṇakya (चाणक्य).—(KAUṬILYA). The famous author of "Arthaśāstra" a treatise on political economy.

Eastern and western scholars have made exhaustive researches on this intellectual giant of ancient India, Cāṇakya. But, nothing definite has yet been established about his time or life. Indians have accepted as a fact the traditional legend that he was a minister of Candragupta, the founder of the Maurya dynasty. It is also firmly believed that it was this mighty intellect of a brahmin who made Candragupta a powerful emperor and steered the ship of his state. The phrase 'Cāṇakya’s kuṭilanīti' (crooked tactics) has become proverbial. Some scholars hold the opinion that he came to be called 'Kauṭilya' because of his Kuṭila (crooked) tactics; but evidence to establish this view-point is yet to be adduced. (See full article at Story of Cāṇakya from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Cāṇakya (चाणक्य).—A Rājarṣi who attained siddhi in śukla tīrtham of the Narmadā.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 192. 14.
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Kavya (poetry)

[«previous next»] — Canakya in Kavya glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara

Cāṇakya (चाणक्य) is the name of a Brāhman, equal in ability to Bṛhaspati, who became the prime minister of Candragupta’s, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 5.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Cāṇakya, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

Source: OpenEdition books: Vividhatīrthakalpaḥ (Kāvya)

Cāṇakya (चाणक्य) is the name of an ancient king, as mentioned in the Vividhatīrthakalpa by Jinaprabhasūri (13th century A.D.): an ancient text devoted to various Jaina holy places (tīrthas).—Accordingly, “[...] Thanks to his alliance with King Parvataka, Cāṇakya succeeded in taking all the country bordering the kingdom of Nanda. Only one city resists their assault. Cāṇakya is surprised, Disguised, he enters the city and sees a temple of the Seven Mothers. His defeat is due to the power of this tutelary goddess, he told himself. [...]”.

Cf. Āvaśyakacūrṇi I 563.1-565.3; Āvasyakaniryukti (Haribhadra commentary) a.4-a.5; Paris. VIII. v. 214-339: Jacobi analysis1932 p. LXXIII-LXXVII.

Kavya book cover
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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Tessitori Collection I

Cāṇakya (चाणक्य) or Cāṇakyasaṃbandha refers to one of the 157 stories embedded in the Kathāmahodadhi by Somacandra (narrating stories from Jain literature, based on the Karpūraprakara), which is included in the collection of manuscripts at the ‘Vincenzo Joppi’ library, collected by Luigi Pio Tessitori during his visit to Rajasthan between 1914 and 1919.—The Kathāmahodadhi represents a repository of 157 stories [e.g., Cāṇakya-saṃbandha] written in prose Sanskrit, although each of them is preceded by a verse. Together, they stage a large number of Jain characters (including early teachers). [...]

General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Cāṇakya (चाणक्य).—Name of a celebrated writer on civil polity; also known as विष्णुगुप्त, कौटिल्य (viṣṇugupta, kauṭilya); see कौटिल्य (kauṭilya).

Derivable forms: cāṇakyaḥ (चाणक्यः).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Cāṇakya (चाणक्य).—m.

(-kyaḥ) 1. A name of the sage Vatsyayana. 2. Name of a Brahman, the reputed author of a work on polity, and minister of Chandragupta. n.

(-kyaṃ) The work of Chanakya, detached stanzas original or compiled, on morals and polity. E. caṇaka a saint, and yañ affix of descent. caṇakasya muneḥ gotrāpatyam .

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Cāṇakya (चाणक्य).—I. m. A proper name, [Pañcatantra] 253, 12. Ii. adj. Composed by Cāṇakya, [Cāṇakya] 1.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Cāṇakya (चाणक्य).—[adjective] made of chick-peas; [masculine] [Name] of a celebrated minister and poet.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

1) Cāṇakya (चाणक्य) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—See Cāṇakyanīti. Śp. p. 29. Kṣīrasvāmin and Rāyamukuṭa on Amarakośa.

2) Cāṇakya (चाणक्य):—a name of the astronomer Viṣṇugupta Oxf. 329^a.

3) Cāṇakya (चाणक्य):—Vaidyajīvana med. Khn. 88.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Cāṇakya (चाणक्य):—[from cāṇaka] mfn. made of chick-peas, [Bhāvaprakāśa v, 11, 37]

2) [v.s. ...] composed by Cāṇakya, [Cāṇakya]

3) [v.s. ...] m. ([gana] gargādi) [patronymic] [from] Caṇaka (son of Caṇin, [Hemacandra’s Pariśiṣṭaparvan viii, 200]), Name of a minister of Candra-gupta (said to have destroyed the Nanda dynasty; reputed author of -śloka [q.v.], ‘the Machiavelli of India’), [Pañcatantra; Mudrārākṣasa; Kathāsaritsāgara v, 109 ff.]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Cāṇakya (चाणक्य):—(kyaḥ) 1. m. A name of a sage; of an author. n. Of a work.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Cāṇakya (चाणक्य) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Cāṇakka.

[Sanskrit to German]

Canakya in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Cāṇakya (ಚಾಣಕ್ಯ):—

1) [noun] name of a Brāhmaṇa, who was the master-mind behind the establishment Maurya dynasty, and also the author of the famous work on civil polity, known as Cāṇakya nīti or Arthaśastra.

2) [noun] a social science dealing with political administration, with the principles and conduct of government including economic policies, taxation, etc.

3) [noun] (fig.) a highly astute, shrewd or sharp man in practical matters.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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